This orchestra is made up of strings and wind instruments. The strings are reflected in the design and the shape, whilst the wind instruments by the performance of the Yamaha outboards
by Niccolò Volpati
It’s a tough comparison to live up to. Stradivarius is the most famous violin maker ever, and his instruments are unique, with characteristics nobody else has ever achieved. Will Capelli’s new maxi-RIB turn out to be the same? To avoid an outcry, the yard has worked alongside the Antonio Stradivari Violinmaker’s Consortium and the project was also executed, as well as by the yard itself, by the BG Design Firm.
They started with a detailed study of the typical shape of violins to then sought to translate it into the concept for the new boat. The end product is good, I would say. It isn’t a violin with a hull underneath it, not least because it wouldn’t be the most functional of deck designs, but it does have elegance and shapeliness. The boundaries were always going to be set by making an inflatable that was handled well and which was comfortable for owners and guests.
Looks are important, but you can’t ignore function. The design option that immediately strikes you is that they have moved the steering console forward. That means you get a very large cockpit, with a U-shaped sofa and, further aft, a sun pad that uses the entire beam except for the gangways used to get to the swimming platform.
I also appreciated the comfort of the steering position because it is a good balance between being protected, and being in the open. The windscreen is large and gives good protection, but doesn’t get as far as being linked to the “roof” because the top part of the plexiglass doesn’t reach that high. That means the area is always well ventilated. A lot of maxi-RIBs these days, or even open boats or walkarounds, have protections made up of a single piece bringing together the windscreen and the T-Top.
That’s the perfect solution for anybody who likes cruising, or wants to go fast without being hit by too much wind. But it’s also true to say that if you want to use the boat in the Mediterranean over the summer months then it is a good idea to ensure you can get some air flowing through. That is why what Capelli has done is convincing.
The deckhouse isn’t too big, either in terms of height or the area it covers. It is needed to provide headroom below decks as you go down the companionway, but the convertible galley doesn’t need to be two metres tall, so the area right in the bow doesn’t need to have too bulky a superstructure. The straight sofa in the bow fits in well with the deckhouse. Everything is balanced, with nice curves, nothing out of place – and even the finish looks to be top quality. While the way the various materials have been put together lends a feeling of elegance to the deck.
That includes wood, otherwise what kind of violin would it be? But there is also fibreglass, tubing and the steel used on bitts and grab handles. So, the all-around feeling I got was that the Stradivarius name was a source of inspiration for the people who designed this maxi RIB. Then we had to find out what it sounded like.
The pair of 425 horsepower XTOs with the complete helm station kit ensure good performance and make the boat easy to handle, with the steering system and electronic throttles, joysticks and autopilot.
There were two 425 hp Yamaha XTOs fitted, and the conditions outside the harbour wall at Genoa weren’t the best. The waves reached around a metre, and the bow waves from passing ships crossed them, making them even more difficult to get through. And the wind was continually blowing at fifteen knots at least, with gusts that were more than that. It was one of those situations where you immediately notice even a single wrong note.
But Stradivari 43 makes you feel that it never goes off-key, even if you don’t have Paganini at the helm. It’s easy to steer and doesn’t get affected by moderate seas because the V-shaped bow means you can get through, even at twenty to thirty knots. You can steer without concern, you don’t even need to hold back on the throttle, because the boat doesn’t jump.
THE WINDSCREEN AND STIFF T-TOP MEAN THAT THE STEERING
CONSOLE IS WELL PROTECTED.
14.5 knots were enough to start planning, and just under 47 litres per hour in total. At top speed we made do with 5500 rpm at 41.6 knots, using 267 litres per hour. Perhaps by taking the waves on the stern we could have got the revs up to 6000 and perhaps even 6400, which is the most the two Yamaha outboards can do. I decided to show restraint, in part because – and despite the rough sea – it had been so calm and pleasant to be out on the water, that I didn’t want to run the risk of taking big hits. But regardless of that, beyond 41 knots I never felt like a bull in a China shop. The hull always behaved well and fended the waves without any problems.
It was easy to handle, not least because of the full optional set-up, and felt fluid both when underway and manoeuvring. The helm station included the entire kit, so it integrated an electronic steering system, electronic throttle, joystick and even autopilot. The tough conditions on the Gulf of Genoa meant I appreciated the windscreen which, as I said, is large and very protective.
The trim and with it the visibility are also excellent, whether you are sitting or seated at the helm. Finally, something else that I was able to appreciate while underway was the width of the gangways, and how easy it is to get around on deck. You can do that even when the boat is moving, without worrying about losing your balance. The same abundance of usable floor area can also be felt on the stern platform which surrounds the two outboards. It’s not something you want to stand on while underway, of course, but is a large and very useful beach area while at anchor.
Eight hundred and fifty horsepower engine is more than enough to generate performance. Because of the metre-high waves we only took it up to 41.6 knots, but you get the feeling that if you push it to the limit, you could reach around fifty knots.
LOA 13.00m • Maximum beam 3.60m • Draft 0.68m • Dry weight 5,500 kg • Fuel tank volume 700 l • Water tank volume 140 l • Tube’s diameter 0.66m • 8 compartments • Maximum power rated 2×450 hp
2xYamaha XTO 425 hp • Outlet mechanical power 425 hp (312 kW) • Swept volume 5,559 cc • V8 60° • Bore&Stroke 96mm x 96mm • Maximal rotational speed 5000-6000/min • Weight 442 kg
Starting from 581,140 € (Incl. VAT) powered with 2×425 hp (July 2022)
(Capelli Stradivari 43, harmony on the waves – Barchemagazine.com – July 2022)